I’ve come to respect how prolific and authoritative David Hepworth is as a music journalist. I published a blog post last year about his earlier book, 1971: Never A Dull Moment. A pivotal year in rock music.
The latest book, “Uncommon People,” takes in the genre through a broader lens, 1955 to 1995, charting the rise and fall of the rock star as a species over that time.
An elegy to the age of the Rock Star, featuring Chuck Berry, Elvis, Madonna, Bowie, Prince, and more, uncommon people whose lives were transformed by rock and who, in turn, shaped our culture
The age of the rock star, like the age of the cowboy, has passed. Like the cowboy, the idea of the rock star lives on in our imaginations. What did we see in them? Swagger. Recklessness. Sexual charisma. Damn-the-torpedoes self-belief. A certain way of carrying themselves. Good hair. Interesting shoes. The talent we wished we had. What did we want of them? To be larger than life but also like us. To live out their songs. To stay young forever. No wonder many didn’t stay the course.